Al Ain (Arabic: العين, al-ʿayn, literally The Spring), also known as the Garden City due to its greenery, is the second largest city in the Abu Dhabi Emirate and the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. With a population of 374,000 (2009), it is located approximately 160 km east of the capital Abu Dhabi and about 120 km south of Dubai. Al Ain is the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates, and it has the country's highest number of Emirati nationals.
Al Ain is located in Abu Dhabi, inland on the border with Oman. The freeways connecting Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the center of the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometers from the other two.
Historically the area was known as Tawam, Al Buraimi oasis and Al Ain, which means "the water spring". Al Ain has been continuously inhabited for more than four thousand years and is considered central to the cultural heritage of the country. It is the birthplace of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates. Today, the name Buraimi refers to the Omani town whose urban area merges with that of Al Ain. (More...)